Training the shoulders can be a difficult affair. The joints can be sensitive, especially if you have already injured them. So you need to prepare well before jumping into the heavy weights.
Trainer Charlee Atkins, CSCS, uses this movement, the PAR-CAR (partially shoulder-mounted) articulation) to her
"I love to combine the different areas of the workout," says Atkins. "This [movement] combines shoulder extension with shoulder rotation in a controlled exercise."
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"If you have shoulder problems or your mobility is restricted, change the When you stretch your arm (ie there is more space between your arm and ear), Atkins advises. "The movement is that of a 'bow', so make sure you stay in our line of movement."
To perform the PAR-CAR you need a series of dumbbells. This is a movement that should never be performed with a heavy weight – so hold something over a 10-pound rack in the rack. If you need a series of dumbbells at home, try this option from Bowflex.
- Stand in an athletic pose and hold a dumbbell in one hand. Hold the arm by your side and let the rest of the body activate (squeeze your core and buttocks muscles together) while slowly stretching your arm all the way up.
- When your biceps approaches or passes by your ear, turn your shoulder so. The palm points outward and extends your arm a few inches beyond.
- Slowly lower the arm to return to the starting position.
If your shoulders are overstrained, Atkins recommends dropping the dumbbells and simply going over the movement. "If you have problems with the shoulder, I recommend trying it first without weights," she says. "You can do this as a warm-up with no weights called shoulder CAR (controlled articulation)."
Add this at the beginning or end of your shoulder workout with 3 sets of 8 reps each. Want to learn more from Atkins? Take a look at our series with their training tips: Try Her Move.
Brett Williams is Associate Fitness Editor at Men's Health.